As a social media manager, you know how important having a good social media management app is to you and your team. It's the lifeblood of your productivity, so it's important to do proper due-dilligance and find the app that has a feature set in-line with your company's needs.
If your team is looking for a new social media management app, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll break down the most popular social media management apps by the feature set. We'll start by introducing you to essential social media management features and then introduce you to the apps.
Make sure to check out last week's piece where we broke down the most popular social media by price. We priced out each app for small, medium, and large sized agencies and organized the data into easy to read tables.
Essential social media management app features
Social media agencies need more than just scheduling capabilities. Here's a list of popular features many agencies require for day-to-day operations, and features you should make sure your social media management app of choice offers.
- Powerful scheduling features. This is a core component of any social media marketing app. If you can't schedule content well, why use a social media management app at all? Make sure your app of choice has excellent scheduling features that fit with your agency's workflow.
- Analytics and reporting. This is key for any social media agency. Advanced analytics let you prove that you're providing real results to your clients. Some key analytics features to look out for include engagement analytics, network and account comparison, and daily reports.
- Multiple accounts for each network. This one's obvious: you need to be able to link multiple brands and social media accounts to your social media management app. In an ideal world, your social media management platform will allow for at least 5 accounts, but this isn't the case for all management apps.
- Support for all social networks. It's important that your social media management app supports all of the social networks where your brand is active. This means more than just Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Others include LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, Yelp, and others. If your app doesn't support this, you may find yourself scrambling to find an alternative when a client joins another social network.
- Social listening. Your social media management app should have a listening feature. Use this to keep a constant search going for your brand's hashtags, keywords, and account names. If someone mentions your brand on social media, you're notified right away.
- A social inbox. Your social media app should have a great social media inbox where you can view @replies to your brand. Use this feature to respond to support requests, check feedback, and otherwise interact with your customers.
- Automation features. Make sure your social media management app has built-in automation features. You can use these to automate everyday social media tasks. For example, you may want to create an automation that automatically pulls reports every week on Friday, or one that automatically re-posts your blog posts from last week on Twitter.
The applications in question
And now, let's introduce the contenders! Here are the six social media management apps we're comparing based on feature set:
- Social Report
- Sprout Social
We'll give each application a quick introduction and break down whether or not each application offers the features listed above in the graph at the end of the article.
Let's dive in!
At Social Report, we make it a point to add new and innovative features to our platform on a regular basis. Offer excellent smart scheduling tools, in-depth analytics and reporting, and a social inbox that brings all of your brand's mentions into one easy-to-digest inbox.
Sprout Social is a big name in the social media management world—and for a good reason. The company has long-offered new and innovative features like an all-in-one social inbox, keyword monitoring, and more.
But Sprout Social app isn't perfect. It came out as the most expensive social media management tool in our price comparison article, and lacks support for smaller social networks. As of the time of publishing this piece, Sprout Social only integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram.
Buffer is one of the original social media scheduling apps that integrates with most of the popular social networks (but not the more obscure ones). The application recently added analytics and repoting features this year, so it's officially a full-fledged social media management app.
The application is limited when it comes to features, though. It lacks any kind of white labeling features and only works with the "big five" social networks. So while it may be good for running in-house social media, we don't recommend Buffer for agency use.
Agorapulse is a basic social media management app with solid posting, collaboration, and analytics tools. However, it doesn't support smaller social networks, its base plan includes just three social accounts, and it doesn't offer any type of white labeling.
MeetEdgar is social media scheduling application for small teams. Currently, the application supports scheduling posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It has an interesting, self-scheduling content calendar that sorts posts by assigned category.
Beyond that though, MeetEdgar is extremely limited. It doesn't offer analytics tools, scheduling to Instagram or Pinterest, or other features that are essential for agencies. Further, The app doesn't currently offer the ability to create team member accounts, and you can't link more than 25 social media accounts.
With that in mind, it's tough to price MeetEdgar for agency use. However, it may still be a viable option for freelancers or small teams of two or three that can share a single MeetEdgar account.
HootSuite is one of the original social media management tools, and one of the best known in the industry. It has a full-suite of scheduling and analytics tools that agencies can use for all of their clients. HootSuite supports 35 different social networks too, so no need to sign-in to accounts manually.
However, HootSuite is still a hard sell for some agencies. It doesn't offer any sort of white-labeling features, lacks the ability to re-schedule old content, and has lackluster analytic features.
Social media management features: concluded!
|Social Report||Sprout Social||Buffer||Agorapulse||MeetEdgar||Hootsuite|
|Obscure Social Networks||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes|
And there you have it: the top social media management apps broken down by features. Make sure to assess your agency's needs, look at how your agency will grow, and compare the cost of these applications before settling on one app. This will save your agency money and frustration in the long-run, and ensure you have the best experience possible.
Need a new social media management app? Try Social Report today.